Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Google Brings Its Mysterious Fuchsia OS to the Pixelbook

Google Brings Its Mysterious Fuchsia OS to the Pixelbook

As for whether Google will stick with Fuchsia, nobody knows: the company might decide that the combination of Chrome OS with Android apps, just like on the Pixelbook now, is enough for users in the future. The Big G is now actively testing Fuchsia on the PixelBook. Fuchsia OS is unique in that it is not based on any existing kernel setup, such as how Chrome OS and Android use a backend Linux kernel.

If waiting for more info from Google isn't your thing, you can now flash Fuchsia and try it yourself, but there's a very expensive piece of equipment you need to have in order to use it.

The "Escher" renderer is written in the Vulkan graphics API, and seems custom-built to run Google's shadow-heavy Material Design interface guidelines.

The Pixelbook, a portable laptop/tablet hybrid which runs Chrome OS, was just released in October.

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Fuchsia has been in development for well over a year already.

You can also run Fuchsia on Android. The OS is open source, but with no Linux kernel, there's no GPL components-the OS is licensed under a mix of BSD 3 clause, MIT, and Apache 2.0. One machine, like the Pixelbook, acts as the target and runs Fuchsia while a second machine serves as a host where Fuchsia is built with install media and from which the operating system is streamed to the target.

The most that has been said on the topic came from the vice president of Android engineering, Dave Burke, who called the operating system an early-stage experimental project. This is an open source project - that's the reason we've been able to follow Fuchsia's development since basically its beginning. It doesn't look like it works on anything, is supremely hard to get running on a PixelBook (you need to do it via a USB that is constantly connected), and it does not support ANY Arm-based targets. As for when this will be, well... that's anyone's guess. So it will take a bit more time of waiting, we think, for Google to finally come out and say what it plans for Fuchsia. If the Fuchsia OS is actually the successor to the Andromeda, then laptops and PC market is Google's next targeted market.

You can long press on one of the apps to drag them on top of each other. I'm really looking forward to see how this develops in the coming months and years.

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